I have been following the water slide debate with some interest.
It seems that there is a fundamental difference of opinion about the character of this part of Penticton. Some seem to really favour the ultra-commercialized, amusement park atmosphere while others value a more natural space open to all.
First off I’ve spoken with many people about this and about 90 per cent are opposed to the use of public lands in this manner. None are opposed to water slides in general. Most are parents of school-age kids. Arguments of “slides are awesome!” and “my kids love slides!” are not reasoned debate.
The objections brought forth to this project have been relevant and thoughtful, and in no way the opinions of a bunch of fun-hating seniors. It is mayor and council’s responsibility to pay attention to the will of the people.
Being elected to serve does not give them mandate to reshape what they will, as they will. A great deal of harm can be done before they can be removed from this role.
Secondly, this council seems to have completely forgotten the working people of Penticton. In their hurry to attract more tourist dollars we hear of new hotels, casino issues, water slides and BMX facilities.
For goodness sake, how about some new jobs in the tech or industrial sectors! Jobs that will allow young families that aren’t blessed with massive wealth to stay and grow here.
We don’t need more low-paying, no benefits, service industry jobs.
I’ve lived here 12 years and in that time have watched so many decent-paying employers shut down or pack up and leave. At the same time the cost of a single family home has skyrocketed. Why isn’t any of this ever addressed? Why aren’t we giving sweetheart deals to companies that can provide real jobs with a future instead of pursuing more hotels that are underutilized much of the year?
Council needs a shift in focus. This town is not “a place to stay forever” anymore for our youth or young families.
Water slides in any location will not fix this. Big box stores over the new bridge will not fix this. New hotels and a better BMX track will not fix this.
Call a referendum, deal with the water slide issue democratically, then get onto something positive that will actually move Penticton forward.